STAFF EDITORIAL: At some point, many of us have answered questions or taken tests to determine what kind of learner we are. We are either kinesthetic, visual or auditory learners. Even discussing this topic in journalism, we noticed that each person on the staff has a different learning style and liked or disliked different aspects of their classes. So, if we know that we all learn differently, teachers should appeal to each learning style.
Good teachers write on the board, discuss the topic, show videos pertaining to what is being taught and plan related activities as practice. That type of teaching covers every learning style. It’s far better than teachers just making the kids read from a book and do a problem or just standing at the back of the classroom making the students take notes from a PowerPoint. Yes, each subject has its challenges, but there are still ways to incorporate each type of learning into every class—we have seen it.
In an English class for instance, instead of a teacher standing at the front of the classroom and talking for most of the period, they could engage the students. Urge students to discuss, allow them to act out scenes or use real-life examples. This way, you can appeal to each student’s learning style. When teachers do these types of activities, students are more engaged and are likely to enjoy the class and want to try harder.
Teachers’ confidence in the subject they teach could also impact a student’s ability to learn. A teacher’s job is to make us think, and if they are enthusiastic and know the material they are teaching, students are likely to learn more. The teacher’s attitude toward the subject is infectious, and their confidence will rub off on the student.
We understand that teachers don’t know everything, but if you’re asked six questions in a row and can’t answer one of them, that’s not teaching, and it lets us know that you don’t know the material any better than we do. When you have students talk to other teachers instead of offering them your after-school time, that makes us feel that you don’t care about the subject, which won’t help student learning.
We understand that a lack of confidence may come from teachers shuffling between subjects they are teaching, but it’s still the teacher’s job to learn the material, so they can effectively teach it to us.
When teachers genuinely care about students and their grades and the material they are teaching, students will care more about the class. When teachers don’t teach by appealing to different learning styles, it makes the students not want to come to class, or their interest in the subject goes down, so their grade may go down.
We understand that teachers are human, and they can’t fit a hundred things into one day. They must follow a schedule, and can’t spend a bunch of time re-teaching topics in different ways, but we also know that we have had many teachers in every subject who do teach by incorporating these learning styles into their curriculum—it’s not impossible.